Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Favorites: Week of Soccer and Sickness

This week has been full of soccer and sickness. We are hoping and praying the sickies are almost behind us. If they don't go away soon, I'll have to head to the doctor next week. Thankfully I feel like I may be able to kick this yuckiness. Finger crossed!

So this week wasn't the easiest or most fun, but we did have some bright spots I'm thankful for. Here are my faves from the week...

*My big boys played soccer outside with Austin's new soccer goals this week! This was a birthday present from Terrell's sister and her family and it's been a big hit so far. =)

This is their pose/face/expression for GOAL!


*Layton got to enjoy some of the big boys' story time before bedtime one night this week. Presh! (This was also the night my bigs wanted to go to sleep shirtless...)

*Since daddy was reading Garrison's chapter book... which doesn't hold Austin's attention... my middle was hanging out and playing on the other couch waiting for his turn... but of course he requested mama make his picture too. =)
*This little man loves peek-a-boo with mama!
*An after school game of Don't Break the Ice. Anything calm, engaging, and that requires SITTING after school I can reeeally appreciate.

*One of my quiet time devotionals this week. While this week hasn't been TERRIBLE, it has been challenging and even a little discouraging. Between not feeling my best and trying to keep up with everything and everybody throughout the week, we still have a big ole financial burden hanging over us. Not being able to sell our house quite yet is starting to catch up with us in more ways than one. Financially it's catching up with us and mentally/emotionally it's starting to catch up with us. We are trying soo hard to be patient and trust God and not complain in the meantime, but when it comes down to losing money we feel we can't afford to lose, it's hard. So the timing of this devotion was perfect. (PS... prayers for our house to sell soon are SOOO appreciated!!)

*This sweet boy graduated to the highchair this week! So cute! He has also decided to put his hands in his mouth after every. single. bite. I think he's going to start needing a mini bath after every meal. Sigh.

*My middle had another soccer game last night that was so fun to watch! While he wanted almost NO part of the game to begin with (even going so far as fake sneezing as his excuse... OH MY), he finally came around and scored a couple of goals and did great! I loved watching him! This one is such a mess. =)

*Not pictured: My biggest got his stitches removed yesterday morning and did GREAT! He's like the best stitches patient ever. =) We are so thankful his head is okay and for a great first and hopefully last experience with stitches!

Now we are looking forward to this weekend so much... It's our annual arts and crafts festival here and a big time highlight for our family. This weekend kicks off the Fall season for us and we look forward to it every year! Happy Friday and Happy Weekend!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Soccer Mom

I'm officially a soccer mom again! This time of 2 boys. =) Garrison and Austin have both had their first soccer games of the season and it looks like we're going to have a great one!

Austin has decided that even though he's somewhat confused about games and everyone going after 1 ball, he's a soccer player and a member of a team and ready to participate and follow the herd! At least that's what he did for his first game. We'll see if the newness and love of the game wears off as the season goes on. Ha! I thought he did AMAZING for his first game given he's only partcipated in one practice and he's a newly turned 3 year old!

I made a few pictures (with my phone) at his first game...




And my biggest boy had a GREAT first game! He was competitive and all over the field and scored like 4 goals and just went all out. We were super proud of how hard he played and very impressed with how well he did for his first game. I got a few iphone pics of him too...but I'm vowing to take my fancy camera to at least one game in the future!




I am just loving watching my boys and cheering them on! Being a soccer mom may may make life a little crazy and require lots of juggling, multi-tasking, and later nights, but I'm loving the memories we're making and enjoying "doing life" with some fellow soccer parents/friends we love. And it's pretty special that family members will be able to come to several games this sesaon too. Yay for being back in the hometown!

Now if we could all shake the crud that's been hanging around since last week, we'd be ready for our next game tomorrow night and Buggy Days coming up this weekend. Mama is over the coughing. OVER IT. Ugh. And my poor Austin is over the runny nose. Big time. Thankfully Layton's on an antibiotic for his ear infection and Garrison and daddy seem to be healthy. The whole family will get back to 100% one day... Sigh.

Happy Wednesday afternoon!

Monday, September 15, 2014

7 Months Old

Layton turned 7 months old on Friday! While this particular month seemed to go a little slower than some, the past 7 have flown by. Wow. I must soak it up. I must try, try, try to enjoy every single second. The smiles, coos, cuddles, cries, fussiness, happiness, chaos, fun, all of it. 

Even though he was sick and not feeling his best, we were able to keep the tradition of a picture with his monkey on his birthday... and got a few smiles! This month seemed to bring about lots of changes for my littlest, especially when it came to his sleeping habits. I think our new big school routine has thrown him off just a little. But since big school is here to stay, maybe it's just time for mama to accept this as the new normal... an early bird on our hands! Even though sleeping habits have been inconsistent and he now has his first little ear infection, this month has been pretty good. =)

Layton with his monkey. He's wearing the same little shirt both of his big brothers wore for their 7 month pics...


 
Garrison at 7 months...
 
Austin at 7 months...
 
7 Months Stats and Happenings...
 
*You weigh 14 pounds, 11 ounces and are at least 25.25 inches long. (There's been some confusion with your length so hopefully we'll get an accurate measurement at your next appointment.). You've slimmed down over the past month or 2 and are definitely on the small side. We may have to change some things with your feedings coming up but for now you're healthy and proportionate so we're just going to go back to the doctor for a weight check next month.
 
*You are still wearing size 3 diapers and wearing 6-9 and 6-12 months clothes. Yay for hand-me-downs from big brothers!
 
*You STILL don't have a tooth. We keep checking and keep right on waiting. Maybe one will come in soon. =)
 
*We introduced the sippy cup this month! You weren't super impressed at first but seem to be enjoying it a little more every time you use it. For now we give it to you a few times a week with water and just a tiny splash of juice.
 
*You still have a really big appetite when it comes to your solids. Yay for being a good eater!
 
*This month you didn't sleep through the night consistently... which was a little tough on mama and daddy. But we think you're getting back on track! You go to bed around 7:30 every night and on the nights you sleep all night you usually wake up between 5:00 and 5:30 needing your paci and then wake up for the day between 6:30 and 7:00. Early wake-up calls are becoming a regular thing around here.
 
*Naptimes have changed a little too. Your morning nap has shortened and lasts around an hour or a little more while your afternoon nap is closer to 2 hours. The afternoon nap is the naptime you typically struggle to sleep all the way through without waking up. 
 
*This month you sat up for a few seconds on own for the first time! Since then you've decided you aren't very interested in sitting up by yourself. Haha! We try it out about once a day and you seem to be getting the hang of it more and more even though your interest level is still just so-so.
 
*You are still rolling over and around a lot and this month started changing directions on the floor very easily. You can turn and spin and shift to see or face whatever you want. =)
 
*You laugh and smile and are totally entertained (and sometimes overwhelmed!) by your big brothers! I can't wait to see the 3 of you grow in friendship as you get older!
 
*We are SO blessed God gave us you!! Happy Birthday Layton Thomas!
 


Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Favorites... Finally

This week has been a bit of a doozie. We've had stitches, a touch of sickness for almost everyone in the household, a sleepless night, and just the usual crazy busy life stuff. I'm tired. But thankfully it's Friday and we have the weekend to look forward to. And hopefully the weekend will give us a chance to all get well and back to 100%.

My favorite happenings from the week...

*Sunday morning ready for church! Even though Layton wasn't having it, I just love matching boys way too much to not get a picture. Terrell's mom found these shirts for them... yay for a matching shirt in ALL 3 sizes!

*The big boys got to enjoy the waterslide from Austin's party one more day before it was time for it to be picked up. They both loved it this year and since we live here now we were able to take full advantage. Yay!

*Austin, Layton, and I had a fun time at the library and Story Time this week!
 
*We were able to get outside one afternoon this week that wasn't unbearably hot. So thankful we're supposed to get a preview of Fall weather soon! These were the cool dudes Layton and I had the pleasure of hanging out with. =)
 
*Austin's favorite school project this week was his "shape fire engine" (Original idea here.) Since Austin knows all of his basic shapes really well, we just had fun putting this together and then counting shapes and comparing sizes of shapes and talking about biggest and smallest, greatest and least. I am very proud of my little student and his love of learning.

*Garrison's Student of Month letter and super cute school pictures came home the same day he fell and hit his head and did an AMAZING job getting 3 stitches! Pretty proud of my biggest too... and thankful he's okay!

*This sweet boy (who is 7 months old today!) is the cutest thing ever after his baths. Just precious. He's congested and coughing now (boo) but he was happy and clean and just wonderful this particular night after his bath.

We are looking forward to Austin's first soccer game in the morning and a pretty low-key and hopefully RESTFUL weekend. Happy Friday afternoon!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Another Day in the Life of Us

I finally remembered and made time to do a "Day in the Life" post. Finally. My first one in over a year. My first one as a mom of 3. I don't love doing these because they're time consuming and I have to make notes of things throughout the whole day so I won't forget and they turn out to be the longest post ever, BUT, I do really really appreciate them once I've done them. Looking back, I think I've done 6 total and I absolutely love and am so thankful for having a regular day recorded in history to see how things were, how things have changed, and just to remember. So here's what we were up to yesterday...

My alarm went off at 5:20 just like every morning during the week... except apparently I was dreaming so deeply about a particular house here in B'ville (one that isn't even for sale), that I hit snooze 3 times in my sleep. And I never do that! Ugh. So I started the day in a rush when I didn't get up until 5:50.

After getting myself ready just in time, I woke up the big boys at 6:40. Austin got up pretty quickly and Garrison finally made it out of bed and Terrell and I made them breakfast (I ate as I went) and got them ready before I woke up Layton around 7:00. He was already awake by the way. He's become an early bird lately. I nursed Layton while Terrell finished getting ready for work and the boys colored at their table.

Finally, around 7:25 we were loading up to head to big school.
I managed to get all 3 babies down to Garrison's classroom, talked to his teacher for minute, and then the 2 littles all the way back to the parking lot where I talked to 2 sweet friends/mamas before heading home about ten after eight.

As soon as we got home I fed Layton his breakfast... oatmeal cereal and prunes. He loved it as always. =) While I fed Layton, Austin played with the letter magnets on the fridge and drew on the magna doodle before hanging all over me and begging for a show. (I usually try to wait until Layton's nap to let him watch a show so I can be productive during that time, but yesterday morning he wasn't feeling his "independent play", so I gave in.)
 
I turned on Team Umizoomi for Austin, finished feeding Layton, put Layton in the swing so I could clean up the kitchen (Layton is never impressed with this), and then finallly got Layton ready for his morning nap. We read books, rocked, sang Jesus Loves Me and then he went right to sleep.
 
I had a few minutes to get on the computer since Austin's show wasn't off so I checked my email, responded to a couple, and then worked on a blog a little before Austin was ready for his school stuff, as he calls it.
 
I'm doing one more week of transportation since I didn't have time to prepare anything new over the weekend. Yesterday we went over the calendar, days of the week, etc, and then used our dot markers to do some transportation pages... which turned out to be a good little assessment.   
After finishing up "school", Austin wanted to play his new games he got for his birthday. So we played "Uno Moo" and "Don't Break the Ice" 2 times each. He is loving his new games.

Then, it was time for me to do some things around the house, so I told Austin he could choose something to play with in the living room or in his room. We're working hard on him becoming a little more independent when it comes to unstructured play. He finally found something to do on his own while I finally got around to making up our bed and straightening things up around the house. Then I went ahead and made our lunches so they'd be ready as soon as we got home from Story Time at the library.

Layton woke up around 10:20 so I got him up and fed him around 10:35 so we could make it to the library by 11:00. Story Time was fun and went really well for our first time! Austin didn't participate in everything but I think he enjoyed it and I'd like to plan to go every week.

As soon as we got home we got our lunches out of the fridge and ate. Everyday after Austin finishes lunch and clears his place, he gets to play on the Kindle while I clean up the kitchen and get Layton down for his afternoon nap.
I got Layton down for his nap around 12:30 and then got Austin down for his nap around 12:45. While they napped, I did laundry, talked to my mom, called our pharmacy, did some school prep for Austin, got the boys' after school snack ready (it's so much easier having the snack ready for them as soon as we get home from picking Garrison up instead of them complaining or fighting or getting all wound up while I get it ready), and finished yesterday's blog.

Layton and Austin were both up from their naps by 2:30, so I fed Layton and then we got ready to go pick Garrison up from school.

We got home around 3:10 and the boys ate their snack while I tended to Layton. After their snack they were ready to watch Clifford!

I got Layton settled on his playmat while the boys had their after school "chill time" on the couch and went through Garrison's bookbag and notebook and Tuesday folder. Imagine my surprise and JOY to discover Garrison had been awarded Student of the Month!! I waited til Clifford went off before telling him and this is his face when he heard the good news. He was really proud and honored. =)

Then it was homework time. And of course Austin wanted homework too so I ended up writing his name and some numbers and letters for him to trace.
After we made it through homework and reading and sight words, etc, we all played Uno Moo together and then the boys finally got to run free and play together while I started on supper. (Tuesday nights we have soccer at 6:00 so I had to get started on it before 5:00 and was thankfully making something super simple.) Anyway, the boys were having so much fun just running around the house. They were chasing each other and laughing and just doing what they do all the time... especially in the late afternoons. And Layton was totally content in his swing so I was feeling pretty good about things. All was well.

Until I heard an awful "bang". AWFUL. The kind every mom recognizes as someone's body (usually someone's head) hitting a piece of furniture. Then I heard immediate loud crying. I ran into the living room to see who was hurt and what had happened and saw them both laying on the floor crying but could see Garrison was hurt worse. He was lying face down on the floor with his arm covering his forehead. I got him up to check on him and saw a huge gash on his head and blood everywhere. (AWFUL.) It turned my stomach and I started feeling ready to panick.

To make a long story short I got him in the kitchen and applied pressure and tried to stop the bleeding while shaking and fighting tears and my heart racing and calling Terrell who was on his way home and asking him WHAT DO I DO? and him telling me to call my mom. My mom was on her way home from work and came straight over. Thank you Jesus we live in B'ville. She took care of Garrison while I tried to get in touch with a doctor... except they were all closed because it was after 5. I was still panicky and shaking and poor Garrison was still upset and scared and hurting. It was just awful. Thankfully between my mom and Terrell's mom and our hometown connections we were able to meet a family friend doctor after hours for stitches and avoided the ER. Praise God!

Garrison did AMAZING throughout the entire procedure. The nurse nicknamed him "Man of Steel". He was so brave and still and just did PERFECT. Seriously. The doctor said he was the most calm, cooperative, laid back child she had ever sutured, ever. We were SO proud and SO thankful for God's grace throughout the whole ordeal. It scared me to death but I am just beyond thankful my baby is okay and that it wasn't more serious. He got 3 stitches and was able to pick out this little giraffe from the prize box at the doctor's office. He fondly named him Tall Legs. =)
One of the funniest things he said during the procedure was Mama, I think I will just eat supper after soccer practice. Bless it. He was soo disappointed to hear that there would be no chance of soccer that night. We did end up going to the field to tell his coach and pick up his uniform and schedule. So he enjoyed that.

Then we came home and relieved my mom (again, SOOOO thankful we're living back here now!) and tried to eat and get everyone ready for bed. It was an eventful, traumatizing evening but by bedtime all was well. Layton was asleep by 7:45 and the big boys were asleep by 8:30. Layton woke up around 9:00 and couldn't go back to sleep for a stretch but after that he only woke up once. I turned in around 10:00 and read in bed before falling asleep.

And that was our day. So grateful for everyone being okay at the end of it!

**BIG thanks to my mom for all of her help yesterday and for Terrell's mom calling the doctor for us!! We are so, so blessed and couldn't be more grateful!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Austin at 3

My sweet baby boy turned 3 years old almost a whole week ago. And I'm still a little in shock. How can it be that we're already here? It seems like he should've stayed 2 for longer. Even though it's bittersweet to see him get older, I am loving almost every single second of watching him grow. Of course we have our share of unpleasant moments... and those I could usually do without, but oh how I love life with this one. He keeps me on my toes, keeps me laughing and entertained, and keeps me wrapped around his little finger with his mama's boy antics and sweet way he loves me. He blesses me daily and I can't get enough of him. Or his 2 brothers. =)
A peek at life with Austin at 3...
 
*You start the day early (we have to wake you up around 6:35) and are usually up and at 'em. So far you are definitely our "morning person" child. 
 
*You miss Garrison while he's at school (he's your best buddy by far) but you really seem to love school at home. You tell me every morning when you're ready for school and love doing little projects and crafts and school work. You definitely hold me accountable. =)
 
*You take an almost 2 hour nap every afternoon. You always sit in my lap and pick out 3-4 books for me to read to you before naptime.  
 
*You go to bed between 8:00 and 8:30 every night depending on how "talking time" goes with Garrison and how wound up or tired y'all are.

*You love being my helper. You hold the door open for me everywhere we go so I can get Layton's stroller in and out. You also love going to the basement with me to be my little laundry helper. Pouring in the detergent is your favorite. =)

*You are very sociable and seem to have a lot of your daddy's personality. You tell everyone hey and what your name is and how old you are all the time. You love waving to people... friends and strangers. You will carry on a conversation with anyone. You just have an out-going, friendly, personable way about you.

*You are so funny! You know how to be silly, wild, into everything, and just a mess! You crack us up all the time with the things you say and do. You are just FUN to be around.

*You are loving and affectionate and still our sweet cuddle bug. You still like to be held. You still like to sit in our laps. You give hugs and kisses all the time. You say I love you often. And I'm going to enjoy all of it for as long as it lasts! Even though I know you'll outgrow most of these little traits I'm hoping you'll always be affectionate at heart.

*You are a mama's boy through and through. Still. =) You love me in the sweetest, most sincere, BIGGEST way. Being on the receiving end of your unconditional love is a priceless gift that I am so grateful for.
*Your current favorite foods are cereal bars (Nutri Grain bars), ham, yogurt, grapes, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, spaghetti, chips, and tacos. Right now, you love all of these a LOT. You are a tad inconsistent with what you like though so we'll see if this list changes before next week.

*Baseball, soccer, and golf are your favorite sports to play. You also love riding around in your car outside. You aren't a huge fan of super hot weather though so we haven't been out a ton lately. Hopefully that's about to change though! Fall is in the air!

*Your favorite TV shows right now are Team Umizoomi and Clifford. You also occasionally watch Super Why, Curious George, and Sesame Street.

*You are loving choir every Wednesday and always get compliments on how well you participate. =) I'm so thankful you got to go ahead and be included with the group even though you're one of the youngest. It is going great so far!


*You do NOT like loud noises... you especially do not like loud noises combined with something new and lots of people. You get overwhelmed and easily scared in those situations. While you are apprehensive and hesitant about brand new things, if they don't involve loud noises, you usually come around. =)

*You are a great little brother AND a great big brother. You share a special bond and love of your brothers that I'm praying remains strong forever.

*You adore your grandparents, AnAn and Frankie, and your cousins.

*You love having your back scratched! =)

We are so blessed you are part of our family, Austin Selph! Happy Birthday to our energetic, sweet, loving, full of personality, favorite 3 year old ever!! We love you!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Austin's 3rd Birthday Party

On Saturday we celebrated Austin's 3rd birthday with lots of family and FUN and I think the birthday boy loved every second! Yay for baseball party success!!

(Austin decided on a baseball party for his 3rd birthday over the summer when we first mentioned a party theme to him... and he never wavered once. He knew what he wanted and he stuck with it. And I can reeally appreciate some decisive decision making around here since at least two fifths of our household is the exact opposite. Ahem... pointing to myself and my firstborn...)

We held the party at my parents' house (HUGE THANK YOU to Granna and Papa!!) again this year in keeping with the tradition of having the first 3 birthdays at home and because of our teeny, tiny house not being an option. We are so thankful for my parents hosting so many birthday parties for us! This was a super fun party to plan...we loved doing concession stand food and decor of all things baseball. I think it all came together perfectly and was pretty special for our birthday boy. =)

My amazingly talented friend Megan designed our invitations for us and they turned out just PERFECT! She designs all of our invites and cards for us year after year and every single time we are in love with the finished product! Thanks again Megan!!

 
Family shot before the party began. =)
 
Party entrance! My sister let us use her Braves wreath on my parents' front door and it was perfect for welcoming guests to our party. Thanks AnAn!!
 
Party decor!
 
I always like to do some kind of picture display at every party, with 1st and 2nd birthdays being the biggest and then sort of toning it down starting at the 3rd bday party. Wonder how my boys will feel about a few pictures of them displayed at their birthday parties when they're teenagers? =)
 
I stole this centerpiece idea from a friend and loved how it turned out! We never have a "party table" full of all our food and decor because we need all the tables for seating since we always serve a meal at our "home parties". This year our "concession stand" had hotdogs, peanuts, popcorn, nachos, and fruit.
 
Another centerpiece... The number 3, sunflower seeds, cracker jacks, and a tin pail of peanuts.
 
And another centerpiece... They were really fun to come up with and I thought they turned out pretty cute.
 
The cake table!
 
It turned out adorable and oh so yummy! And my mom made the most delicious white chocolate dipped oreo baseballs. The sugar was overflowing!
 
And this year I finally remembered to get a picture of the favors. We used little red pails and filled them with Baby Ruth candy bars, a pack of baseball cards, a squishy baseball, stickers, a wooden bat keychain, and a "magic towel". I made our nieces' favors slightly more girly. =)

The waterslide was a HUGE hit and Austin loved it this year! Yay! He was sort of nervous at first (which made me wonder if he'd miss out on the fun just like last year), but thankfully once he got used to it he had the best time! The other kiddos loved it too. Jumping in the pool of water at the bottom was one of Austin's favorite things. =)
 
Opening presents was pretty fun for the birthday boy too. Of course!

His 2 big tranportation gifts came from Nana and Pops and Granna and Papa and he is so excited about them both!

 
Singing Happy Birthday was one of my favorite parts of the party. Austin sang the entire song with everyone the whole way through. So adorable! Garrison's face in the bottom corner is pretty funny too. He thought it was hilarious that Austin sang Happy Birthday to himself with everybody else.


Austin's 3rd birthday party was SO fun and a super special way to celebrate our middle man! Thanks to all of our family for coming and helping us celebrate our very favorite 3 year old!! And many, many, MANY thanks go out to the grandparents for all of their help with everything from party planning, to party hosting, to providing and manning the waterslide, to last minute purchases, to helping out with Layton during the party so I could focus on Austin. It was truly a team effort and Terrell and I were so blessed by everyone's help and generosity. Yay for a successful 3rd birthday party in the books!

Happy Birthday again to our sweet 3 year old, Austin Selph!!